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Southeast Conference 


E a s 

SEC Conference News 

staff Plans for 2012 

At a recent daylong planning event in October for the Southeast Conference staff, we 

looked ahead together at the program year 2012. Debbie Spearman is planning a 

strategic plan for financial development for local churches. Kathy Clark and Sarah 

Kim continue to work on the Global Theological Education event in Thailand, which 

will take place in January 2012. Further, they are launching the PATHWAYS 

program, with initial courses being offered this fall, and outreach to other conferences 

to recruit interest and participation. Perhaps of greatest interest and importance, the 

Annual Meeting of the Conference will take place on Saturday, June 9, hosted by 

First Congregational Christian UCC, Birmingham. Friday evening, June 8 there will 

be the TAP graduation banquet and commencement in Birmingham. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee 

will include Rodney Franklin and two members of First 
Church, Jim Crabb, Ginny Nixon, Susan Dunn, Tim Downs 
and one other. 


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Southeast CoRference 

Southeast Conference Develops Partnership with 
Lancaster Theological Seminary 

As a part of the growing partnership with Lancaster 
Theological Seminary (LTS), and the Southeast 
Conference working with them to develop PATHWAYS, 
continue collaborations with the Global Theological 

Education program, and other engagements, Tim Downs has been 
elected to the Board of Trustees of the seminary. Tim has said, "the 
development of leadership for the changing United Church of Christ 
continues to be a challenge and priority for our conference. I hope 
that through this partnership, we, seminary and conference will be 
able to mutually support one another in our common task of training 
and equipping leaders". 

Photos appearing to the right were taken at the recent meetings at 
LTS where Kathy Clark presented on PATHWAYS and Tim Downs 
was present for discussions. 
Link here to visit the website for Lancaster Theological Seminary. 

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Leader Link Conference News Southeast Conference SECUCC News 

8/5/13 2:35 PM 

Alabama-Tennessee Association Fall Meeting - "Making 

"Making Connections" was tine tineme of tine Alabama-Tennessee 

Association Fall Meeting, which took place on September 30 and 

October 1. Hosted by Howard Congregational UCC in Nashville, the 

biannual gathering was a time of creative worship, interesting workshops, wonderful fellowship, and excellent 


Click for Slideshow! Click for Slideshow! 

Planned and led by the UCC seminarians from Vanderbilt Divinity School under the leadership of Cameron Barr, 
the intergenerational event made connections between our deep history and the church of the future. A highlight 
of the gathering was the ecclesiastical council for Member in Discernment Benjamin Robert Konecny, who was 
unanimously approved for ordination pending a call. On Friday evening, clergy from the Association met for an 
informal gathering to make and renew connections with one another. Many thanks go out to Moderator Gary 
Luther Myers, Pastor Christophe Ringer, COM Chair Barbara Everett, the members of Howard Congregational 
UCC, and the planning team for bringing us together as church. 

Georgia-South Carolina Association Gathers for Fall Meeting 

On Saturday, October 15, 60 members of the Georgia-South Carolina 

Association gathered in the newly renovated sanctuary of Pilgrimage UCC, 

Marietta, to conduct business, worship, join in fellowship and celebrate. 

Cornelius Watts, moderator, opened the meeting by calling for an 

ecclesiastical council. 

The Council examined 

Laura Arnold for 

ordination, and 

unanimously approved 

her to proceed. Laura 
preached a sermon inviting those gathered to 

transformation through creative non-violence. This action was particularly noteworthy because Laura is the first 
member in discernment to seek ordination through the new multiple paths to ministry. They then acted to 
received Kirkwood UCC as a congregation in full standing in the United Church of Christ. From its beginnings 
four years ago in a coffee shop, Kirkwood UCC has grown 
to 60 in worship, and been approved for a loan to purchase 
a building. The gathering then joined in worship, which 
music led by a combined choir of Kirkwood and Pilgrimage 
churches, and the children's' choir of Kirkwood. 
Communion was celebrated 

Following lunch, the gathering came together for business, 
in which they elected Elizabeth Clement and Debbie 
Spearman as moderator and vice-moderator of the association respectively to begin in their offices following the 
spring annual meeting. Debbie Spearman gave an update on the status of the Transforming Churches, 
Transforming Lives Campaign. The event ended with a panel representing Virginia-Highland Church, Pilgrimage 
UCC, Circular Congregational UCC, and First Congregational UCC, Atlanta in a free wheel conversation about 
church as sacred space. The spirit of the meeting was warm and enthusiastic noting all the signs of renewal and 
vision that are taking root in the association. 

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Leader Link Conference News Southeast Conference SECUCC News 

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East Alabama-West Georgia Association Gathers for 79**^ Annual Meeting and 111**^ Session of the 
Alabama Christian Council 

Twenty people gathered on Saturday October 23 at Oak Grove Congregational Christian Church, UCC, and Pine 
Mountain, GA. In the roll call of churches, there were three churches present. Moderator Wayde Washburn 
opened with a reflection on the state of the association, noting that in the 1980's there were 35 churches in the 
association, and now there are four. He lifted up the noteworthy history of the association, and the "cloud of 
witnesses, and host of saints" that have been a part of building that history. Naming Roy Bain, Joe French, 

Warren Blankenhorn, the Dollar family as those on whose shoulders 
we stand, Wayde challenged us to begin thinking of where we go 
from here. He noted that this is truly a time of transition, and we are 
called to live in these days faithfully and fully. 

Tim Downs gave an annual financial report for the association. 
There is $28,482.28 in the checking account, and a balance of 
$104,861.23 in the United Church Foundation account for theological 
scholarships. This money came from the sale of First Congregational 
Church, Roanoke. AL. Downs then gave a report on the conference. 
He said that while the vitality and growth of the conference was not 
evident in this association, there is no doubt that the successes of 
today are built on the commitments that were made by those before 
us. Much of that growth is in urban areas across the South, and the 
only urban area in this association is Columbus. 

We then received reports from each of the churches present. United Columbus noted that they still have four 
members who meet in a Burger King when their pastor, Jim Johnson is in town. The church building which they 
have turned over to the Columbus Historic Foundation is being renovated. Oakgrove Congregational Christian 
Church is continuing to "rock and roll", although it is struggling with membership. It was reported in the words of 
Monty Python that Sandy Creek UCC, "ain't dead yet". Following additional report, elections were held and 
Wayde Washburn was reelected moderator, Ira David, elected vice-moderator, and Betty Moon will continue as 
secretary. The Association voted to dedicate $3500 to staff support in the Conference. 

The keynoter for the occasion was Mike Stroud, the director of the History Project. He traced the history of this 
association from the earliest days of James O'Kelly to W.M.J, elder who with his family established 22 churches 
on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, beginning in modest brush arbors. He noted with particular thanks the 
roles of Millard Fuller and Jimmy Lightbourne in bring about the formation of the Southeast Conference over the 
objections of the segregationists at this time. 

Capital Campaign Continues Growth 

Twenty-one SEC Churches have now made their pledge to the Capital 
Campaign. Placing our new total at: $508,000 
Link to list of current pledged churches . 

Living into the Future of Theological Education 

October 8, Tim Downs Dorothea Lotze Kola and Kathy Clark led a daylong event, in Chattanooga, TN, for 

^1^.^.- J-U.^ 

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Leader Link Conference News Southeast Conference SECUCC News 

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cjuviburs cinu [jrubpeuiive auviburs lur iiifcjriiufcjrb iii uibuernrFieiii. i rie [jurpubt; ui me eveiii was lu rlla^e uiear me 
role of advisor and wiiat tine Committees on Ministry ougint to expect from tinem. It was a time of dynamic 

interaction, and high interest. At a meeting on November 12 in Atlanta, we will focus on details of the processes 
that will be open to all members in discernment, their advisers and prospective advisers. 

A Breathtaking Blue Ridge Retreat 

A Faith Inspired Look Toward Wholeness 

On the beautifully, colorful fall weekend of Oct. 7-9, hundreds of 
women from the southern region joined together for a time of fun, 
fellowship, relaxation and spiritual encounter. This all took place at the 
United Church of Christ's Southern Regional Women's Retreat held at 
the UCC Conference Center in Blowing Rock, NC. We experienced 
together "A Faith Inspired Look Toward Wholeness" with UCC's 
Minister for Health Care Justice, Barbara Baylor, complete with many 
motivating and educational workshops. 

2011 Women's Retreat! 2011 

Women's Retreat! 

mountain folklore, a silent auction and inspiring music. Women from the Southeast conference joined those from 
the Southern, Florida and South Central Conferences for this wonderful weekend together. Click on the slide 
show to the left to see the many smiling faces at this year's retreat. 

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November 2011 

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